News Column

Memphis filmmaker Craig Brewer inks TV deal

January 30, 2014

By John Beifuss, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.

Jan. 30 -- Memphis filmmaker Craig Brewer has signed a deal with the new television division of Paramount to create pilots for two dramas, including one that could be shot locally. The development deal calls for Brewer to write, direct and executive produce the two pilots, which could lead to weekly series for broadcast or cable television. Brewer, 42, said he could not disclose the themes of the shows he pitched to Paramount , but added: "My ultimate dream is to have a TV show that I can shoot at home. One of the projects I hope can find a home here." Described by Deadline Hollywood as one of Paramount Television's "first major development deals," the agreement continues Brewer's career-long association with Paramount , which bought the rights to distribute "Hustle & Flow" at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and has been a supporter of the writer-director ever since. Brewer's 2011 remake of "Footloose" was a Paramount production, and he currently is finishing the script for another Paramount feature film, "Gangster Princess of Beverly Hills ," which, in a best-case scenario, could begin shooting as early as this year. " Paramount is, in all sincerity, a family to me," Brewer said. The president of Paramount Television is Amy Powell , veteran head of the studio's digital division, who has worked with Brewer since the days of "Hustle & Flow." "Craig's ability to capture and authentically portray different cultural moments in time through his characters, narratives and singular musical taste make him one of the most inspired storytellers of this generation," she said, in a statement about the TV deal. Brewer has worked in television before. He directed the 2010 pilot episode of "Terriers," a short-lived FX network program about a pair of unconventional and unlicensed private detectives that earned appreciative reviews and a cult following but low ratings. For a Paramount sister company, MTV , he created the made-in- Memphis music-based series " $5 Cover." A development deal is the very earliest stage of a project's official life and is no guarantee the shows or even pilots ever will exist. Many scripts are written that never are produced and many pilots are produced that never become series. Brewer is hopeful, however, that he can make a significant contribution to what many regard as a new Golden Age of television, and is enthused about the possibility of exploring themes and characters over many hours of drama. Creating the two pilots, he said, means he also must create a pair of fictional worlds that can sustain many seasons' worth of stories. "When you say 'Breaking Bad,' when you say 'Orange Is the New Black,' when you say 'House of Cards' ... you're talking about ongoing tales and long-term relationships with audiences," he said. . ___ (c)2014 The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) Visit The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) at www.commercialappeal.com Distributed by MCT Information Services


For more stories covering arts and entertainment, please see HispanicBusiness' Arts & Entertainment Channel



Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)


Story Tools